Photo by Transportation Ministry
JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The construction of the first track of the Jakarta-Surabaya semi-high speed train project commences next year, announced Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi on Sunday (8/10). The two-phase project is estimated to require an investment of Rp80 Trillion (US$5.97 billion).

“The initial estimated cost for the construction of a level crossing is Rp25 billion, or a total of about Rp20 trillion, for 800 crossings along the Jakarta-Surabaya route,” Sumadi said during a visit to Sumenep, East Java.

The first phase will reportedly be a Jakarta-Semarang section, which is anticipated to be completed within two years. The second, Semarang-Surabaya phase, will start up construction in 2019.

According to the Transportation Minister, the semi-high speed train project is currently under study, by a team of Japanese specialists, with a plan to be completed at the the end of November.

“Our prediction is that the Jakarta-Semarang section, including its electrification, should be completed within two years, and the remaining Semarang-Surabaya section to follow two years later,” he said.

Sumadi stated that the Semi Fast Train will be able to cover the Jakarta-Surabaya route within five hours, at a minimum speed of 140 kilometers per hour. In the construction of level crossings, both for flyovers and underpasses, the Ministry will coordinate with the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing.

Jakarta-Surabaya medium-speed railway facilities are expected to reduce the eight- to nine-hour travel time to only five hours. Sumadi noted that there are at least 1,000 railroad crossings on the route between Jakarta and Surabaya.

Moreover, the government should construct a double track with displaced railroad crossings as well as setting up overhead electricity lines.

JICA to Finance Three US$3 Billion-plus Projects

Sumadi has revealed that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has expressed its readiness to finance the train projects. He has requested JICA to prepare alternatives, such as using another line in relation to the revitalization of the northern Java railway line for the semi-fast train.

Infrastructure Program Director of The Committee for Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure Delivery Rainer Haryanto told TheInsiderStories  JICA expects to fund several infrastructure projects in Indonesia for more than $3.2 billion.

These investments will consist of a Mass Rapid Transportation Phase II project, worth $1.86 billion, Patimban harbor construction worth $1.25 billion, water management waste zones I and II in Jakarta for $ 1.15 billion as well as Jakarta – Surabaya projects.

President Joko Widodo is focusing on the development of infrastructure in all sectors, the primary objective being to achieve economic growth of at least 7 percent, so Indonesia can reach the status of a so-called “designated country” by 2025, exceeding its current status as a “developing country”.

The Indonesian economy grew by 5.18 percent in the second quarter (Q2) of this year, compared with a revised 4.88 percent in 2016, but is still far from the target of 7 per cent. World Economic Forum in its report on the Global Competitiveness Index ranks Indonesia at 41st out of 140 countries and puts Indonesia in the 60th rank for countries with the best infrastructure and connectivity.

The government has confirmed the economy will grow by 5.4 percent in 2018, and has allocated a budget of Rp455 trillion (3.1 percent of GDP) for the development of infrastructure next year, higher than the Rp387.7 billion set for 2017 (2.8 percent of GDP). The budget for infrastructure development next year will be set 17.35 percent above this year’s budget.

For Widodo, a crucial step in promoting economic growth is developing infrastructure in all sectors, so that economic activity can increase significantly. In 2016 he issued Presidential Decree number 3/2016 on accelerated implementation of national strategic projects.

As of June 2017, five projects (2 percent of the total of 245) entered a final stage of development, 130 projects (53 percent) are under construction, 12 (5 percent) in a transaction process, and 100 (40 percent) are ready for development

The investment for this national strategic project, funded by the state budget, amounts to Rp525 trillion, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and Rp1,258 trillion for local government, and Rp2,414 trillion for the private sector.

The classical problem in the implementation of any type of these projects is land acquisition. In an attempt to deal with this effectively, the Government issued Presidential Decree No. 56/2017, aiming to address the social impact of land acquisition. 

US$1: Rp13,400
Writing by Linda Silaen, Email: